Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH, named vice president for research

Contact: Will Sansom, 210-567-2579,

SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 4, 2022) — The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) today announced the promotion of Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH, to be vice president for research. William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio, said the appointment is effective Feb. 15. Dr. Potter has served as interim vice president for research since June 2021.  

Dr. Potter joined the UT Health San Antonio faculty in 2008 after serving at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. In 2012, she was promoted to assistant dean and then vice dean for research for the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine, where she served until June of last year.

Portrait of Jennifer Potter
Jennifer Sharpe Potter, PhD, MPH

She is an accomplished addiction scientist with a large portfolio of National Institutes of Health research and public health programs implementing evidence-based treatments statewide. Dr. Potter is a principal investigator with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Clinical Trials Network.

With funding from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Dr. Potter oversees several statewide, public health initiatives collectively known as Be Well Texas that expand access to compassionate, evidence-based treatment and care for substance use disorders (SUDs) throughout Texas. Collectively, these projects make up more than $43.6 million in fiscal year 2022 contract funding and include:

  • Be Well Texas Clinic, a statewide, telehealth addiction medicine program;
  • a statewide provider network that delivers SUD treatment and care in outpatient, hospital and community settings;
  • a comprehensive and statewide training and telementoring program that expands workforce capacity for SUD; and
  •, a recovery-focused, web-based program that offers free, on-demand access to certified peer recovery support specialists.

Dr. Potter is also currently responsible for leading UT Health San Antonio’s efforts to establish a School of Public Health. Dr. Potter received her master’s degree in public health from Emory University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Georgia. She completed her training at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital.

As vice president for research, Dr. Potter will serve as the principal officer for research administration and the institutional official for the Human Research Protection Program, the Institutional Review Board and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Program. She will be responsible for the planning, development and implementation of all research administration initiatives in support of UT Health San Antonio’s vision, mission and strategic priorities. In addition, Dr. Potter will help foster a research climate that promotes adherence to high ethical standards in the conduct of research.

“As the research enterprise at UT Health San Antonio continues its significant growth trajectory, Dr. Potter is well suited to guide us to the next level, given her experience and success with many funding agencies, her deep commitment to our faculty, and her highly collaborative and innovative approach to advancing research,” President Henrich said.

Dr. Henrich expressed gratitude to Peter Loomer, BSc, DDS, PhD, MRCD(C), FACD, dean and professor of the School of Dentistry, and the members of the Search Advisory Committee for leading the national search for the vice president for research.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also referred to as UT Health San Antonio, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities and is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. With missions of teaching, research, patient care and community engagement, its schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have graduated 39,700 alumni who are leading change, advancing their fields, and renewing hope for patients and their families throughout South Texas and the world. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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